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Louisburg 2, Bonner Springs 1 in 2 OT

BONNER SPRINGS – With time ticking away at a chance at victory, the Louisburg High School boys soccer team wasn’t about to see all its hard work end in a tie.

After the Wildcats rallied to even the score against Bonner Springs in the second half of Thursday’s contest at Bonner Springs High School, they went to an extra period and were still unable to find the back of the net.

Then, in the final overtime, Louisburg got the opportunity it was looking for.

Louisburg senior Chris Williams scored the game-winning goal five minutes into the second overtime to give the Wildcats a 2-1 victory, and gave them back-to-back wins after losing their season opener.

“We had a free kick that was played into the 18-yard box and Bonner didn’t clear the ball well because of the pressure applied by Ryan Haight,” Louisburg coach Kyle Conley said. “Chris attacked it and chipped it over the goalkeeper’s head for the game winner. Chris provided a huge spark for us off of the bench. He played extremely hard the entire game and he gave our team a big lift. It was only fitting that he get the game winner. It was a fantastic moment from that young man.”

To start the match, both teams had their chances on goal before Bonner Springs connected on a shot from 25-yards out to give the Braves a 1-0 lead with seven minutes remaining in the first half.

The match stayed that way until midway through the second half when Brock Bila scored on an assist from Eric Vazquez to tie the match up and eventually send it to overtime.

The Wildcats (2-1) had to make adjustments along the way as they had to get used to playing on a turf surface for the first time this season, which plays much quicker than their home grass field they are used to competing on.

“Playing on turf is always challenging for us because of our practice environment, but we try to make the most of it,” Conley said. “It is nice to have a ball that rolls clean and smooth, but it takes some getting used to it. In the second half, the boys moved the ball and let the ball do the work. We had 6 to 8 really nice opportunities inside 12 yards, but failed to capitalize. Once we started playing our game we started to control the game.”

Louisburg goalie Thomas Arnett skies to knock a shot attempt away on a corner kick Thursday in Bonner Springs.

Despite the lone goal the Wildcats gave up in the first half, the defense held strong as the back line Eli Minster, Haden Yeager, Michael Seuferling and Will Frank turned away the Braves’ attack and goalie Thomas Arnett snagged whatever got through.

It was an overall team effort from Louisburg and the Wildcat coach couldn’t have been prouder of his team as they picked up their second straight win.

“We played well and did a nice job for the most part in staying organized,” Conley said. “We started off poor on the turf and trying to do too much. By the end, we were trying to play the right way and let the ball do the work. It was very nice getting our first road win, especially to a team that beat us last year.”

It will be a busy week for the Wildcats that begins today when they host Lansing, a Class 5A program, for a 6 p.m. start. Louisburg will then host Bishop Ward on Tuesday before traveling to Spring Hill on Thursday.

“This week is going to be a really good test for us,” Conley said. “We play back to back on Monday and Tuesday and follow that up with powerhouse Spring Hill. I think this week will show our true colors. I like how this team though is focused on getting better. It is fun to watch them grow.”